LATICS have made three permanent midfield signings since their last game less than a fortnight – but Don Cowie couldn’t be happier about the situation.
Boss Uwe Rosler moved quickly to cover for the loss of James McArthur by snapping up Brentford’s Adam Forshaw and Denmark international William Kvist from Stuttgart ahead of the transfer deadline, as well as making landing Manchester City loan ace Emyr Huws on a full-time deal.
Rather than feeling aggrieved at facing more competition for his first-team spot, Cowie – an ever-present in the league since his summer signing from Cardiff – has welcomed the arrivals.
And he reckons the presence of so much quality in every position is why Latics will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.
“There certainly is competition for places now, and that’s what you need at a club like this,” Cowie told the Evening Post.
“If you look at the clubs that are doing well this year – like Cardiff and Nottingham Forest – they’ve all got big squads.
“It’s a long old season and we’re going to need every one of the squad, including the likes of Chris (McCann) and Ben (Watson) who have still to come back from long-term injury.
“Obviously the boys who have done well recently will be looking to keep their places, but they’ll also be aware there is a lot of pressure on when game-day comes round.”
It all makes for a welcome selection dilemma for Rosler ahead of Saturday’s trip to Blackburn, with Kvist and Huws back in the fold after international duty.
Latics make the short trip to Ewood Park looking to build on back-to-back wins over Blackpool and Birmingham before the break, which propelled them into the top half of the Championship table.
“We signed off for the break in really good form and it would have been nice to have had another game last weekend to keep that momentum going,” Cowie added.
“But it was a hard start to the season and it’s given us a good chance to have a bit of a rest and take stock with the games coming thick and fast.
“It’s also given the new lads a good chance to bed in, and we’re all looking forward to Blackburn on Saturday.
“With the international boys back it’ll give the manager some good options for the weeks ahead.”
l Latics kicked off their defence of the Final Third Development League Cup yesterday with a 0-0 draw at Fleetwood Town.
Despite the presence of Grant Holt up front, Latics couldn’t muster a goal and were grateful for Lee Nicholls pulling off several good saves to earn a point.